How to Sharpen Your Kitchen Knife to Get the Best Use Out of It
Sharpening Your Kitchen Knife
As you use any knife it will eventually get dull. A dull kitchen knife is both a hazard and an inconvenience to use.
With a dull knife you have to apply more pressure than should be needed to cut through the food that you are preparing. More pressure means that if you slip the added pressure can mean loss of control and a greater risk of cutting yourself.
A sharp kitchen knife allows you to easily glide through the vegetables or meat that you are cutting with a great deal of control and ease.
Best Way to Sharpen
The best way to sharpen your kitchen knife is to use a wet stone. This is a flat grind stone that can be natural or made of carborundum. Often one side will have a coarse grit and the other side having a fine grit.
Water or oil if it is an oil stone are used as a lubricant to help flush the grindings away and keeping them from clogging the pores of the stone, preventing the loss of the cutting action.
On a microscopic scale, moving the knife blade at the same angle as the original edge across the stone cuts or chisels off tiny bits of the steel. The finer the wet stone the smaller the particles are cut off, and the finer or sharper edge that you can create.
The problem is if you start with a fine stone and a dull knife it takes a very long time to get to a sharp edge. So using both coarse and fine stone is the fastest way to put an edge on to a kitchen knife.
In general the knife is drawn across the abrasive stone in a circular or figure eight motion. More water is added as necessary. Work both sides evenly. Make a couple of passes on one side then switch to the other side.
Once you have established the rough edge, switch to the fine stone and repeat the process.This does not take a long time. With a good wet stone you could sharpen a very dull knife to like new condition with just a few minutes of work.
Honing The Edge
Another surprising thing that happens with steel is that as it becomes very thin it becomes flexible like aluminum foil. So with normal grinding you can develop this foil edge. When you go to cut with it the foil bends over and then it appears to be dull because the foil is actually preventing the cutting edge from doing its job.
The solution to this is called honing. Honing is really just forcing the foil edge to flex back and forth until it breaks off leaving the true cutting edge available. There are several ways to do this. The traditional way is to use a leather strap with some polishing compound in the leather. The knife is stroked back and forth across the cutting edge forcing the foil to fold back and forth until it breaks off.
Another way to hone a knife is to use a steel or a ceramic stick. These are dragged along the edge at a constant angle. The hard ceramic and the file hard steel will remove the foil edge with a few passes. Great for a quick honing of the edge.
Diamond grit steels work the best for this as they cut the knife steel with ultra hard and super fine grit.
For more information and a video showing the technique of how to sharpen your kitchen knives to razor sharpness click through to Henkel Knives – Sharpening. If you are looking at purchasing top quality kitchen knives which with care will last your life time visit http://henkelknife.com. Remember a good quality knife that is sharpened properly is a joy to use as there is almost no effort involved. It makes cooking much easier and safer.